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What Is Considered An Intellectual Disability

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What is an Intellectual Disability

Most people with an intellectual disability experience problems in reading and have poor writing and spelling skills. They may have difficulty understanding most forms of mathematics including telling the time, using money, or reading a timetable. They may have delayed speech, and commonly have problems expressing themselves and organizing their thoughts. Most have a poor short-term memory, making learning and obeying rules difficult. Some neglect basic hygiene and healthcare. Most have trouble in forming relationships and in defining themselves.

The level of the intellectual disability determines the characteristics. People with a mild disability may only display slight problems with coordination and memory. A person suffering from a severe intellectual disability may be unable to control voluntary movements and lack the ability to communicate verbally, or, in extreme cases entirely. Some people may express themselves with physical violence, often due to frustration.

What School Placement Helps Individuals With An Intellectual Disability Learn

A diagnosis should not determine a childs learning environment. Children diagnosed with an intellectual disability can benefit from placement in the general education setting, provided the appropriate supports are in place to support adaptive and language development; however, school placement depends on many factors that should be carefully considered in concert with school planning.

What Causes Intellectual Disabilities

There are multiple possible causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities, most of which develop before birth, or in early childhood. Common types of intellectual disabilities include Downs Syndrome, and Fragile X Syndrome. Here are some common causes:

  • Genetics
  • Injury at a young age or soon after birth
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals

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What Can I Do If I Think My Child May Have Intellectual Disability

Talk with your childs doctor or nurse. If you or your doctor think there could be a problem, you can take your child to see a developmental pediatrician or other specialist, and you can contact your local early intervention agency or public school . To find out who to speak to in your area, you can contact the Parent Center in your state: icon.

To help your child reach his or her full potential, it is very important to get help for him or her as early as possible!

Risperidone For Adhd In People With Intellectual Disabilities

Learning disabilities (Cognitive)

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is more common in people with intellectual disability than in the general population.; As in the general population, ADHD adversely affects the ability to learn and is associated with behavioural disturbance, and therefore any intervention to reduce these symptoms is important.

Risperidone is a newer atypical antipsychotic medication, prescribed to people with ID for many reasons, including disruptive behaviour, ADHD and psychosis. Most of the research into using risperidone for hyperactivity or disruptive behaviour has been performed in people with autism who do not have a clear diagnosis of ADHD. The aim of this review was to examine the effectiveness of risperidone in people with intellectual disability and ADHD.

No trials were found, and therefore there is no randomised controlled trial evidence to support or warn against the use of risperidone in this group of people.; It is important that this reseearch question is answered as many people with intellectual disability and ADHD are prescribed this medication.;

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is increasingly recognised as occurring in people with intellectual disability , although treatment of ADHD in this population has not ben tested widely. Risperidone has been used to treat ADHD in people with ID, although the evidence for its effectiveness is unclear.

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What Causes Intellectual Or Cognitive Impairments

Intellectual or cognitive impairments can start any time before a child reaches the age of 18 years. Persons who have intellectual disabilities may have other impairments as well. Examples of coexisting conditions may include: cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, vision impairment, hearing loss, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder . Persons with severe intellectual disabilities are more likely to have additional limitations than persons with milder intellectual disabilities .

What Is Considered An Intellectual Disability

An intellectual disability, also known as ID, is when someone experiences significant limitations in their cognitive functioning, social, communication, and personal care skills.;

Because everyones experience of ID, and indeed other types of disability, is different and unique there can be some confusion when it comes to defining exactly what is considered an intellectual disability.;

Here we discuss answers to this question and tackle some of the misconceptions surrounding the topic. And finally, we will offer up some advice for anyone who needs help navigating an intellectual disability within the NDIS.;

Lets get started.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Intellectual Disability

There are a number of factors that can play a role in the development of intellectual disability. Any time that something occurs that interferes with normal brain development, there is an increased risk that there will be an onset of this condition. While there are some instances in which an exact, specific cause for the onset of ID can be determined, on average, this only occurs about one-third of the time. Researchers believe that the following factors can come into play when determining the cause of intellectual disability:

Genetic: There are cases in which the presence of intellectual disability is due to the presence of abnormal genes that have been inherited from family members. In other cases, if errors occur when genes are being combined during prenatal development, ID can result. It is estimated that in approximately 25% of cases, intellectual disability is the result of metabolic abnormalities or chromosomal abnormalities, such as those that cause Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome.

Physical: When individuals are afflicted by certain infections or diseases and are not properly treated, there is a risk that ID can develop. Additional physiological factors, such as extreme malnutrition, being denied appropriate medical care, or being exposed to poisonous substances like lead or mercury, can also place one at risk for developing intellectual disability.

Risk Factors:

How Common Is Intellectual Disability


intellectual disabilityintellectual disabilityIntellectual disabilitycommonSteps to help your intellectually disabled child include:

  • Learn everything you can about intellectual disabilities.
  • Encourage your childs independence.
  • Get your child involved in group activities.
  • Stay involved.
  • There are a number of common characteristics that may have a significant impact on an individuals learning, including:

    • difficulty understanding new information.

    Common Developmental Disabilities in Children

    • Intellectual disabilities.

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    Living With Intellectual Disability

    Most people with intellectual disability can live full and happy lives. ;Participation in sporting activities can be very beneficial. It can promote better health in general, and provide an important boost to self-esteem, create friendships, and provide a sense of self-worth and acceptance. The unconditional love and support of the family is essential for a person with this condition to develop to their full potential.

    Intellectual Disability And Co

    When children and adolescents have intellectual disability, they are believed to be 3-4 times more likely to have co-existing mental health conditions than are the general populations. Some of the most commonly cited co-occurring disorders and conditions said to present alongside ID include the following:

    • Mood disorders

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    What Does An Intellectual Disability Mean

    Generally, there are two main characteristics of intellectual disabilities that are widely recognised both in Australia and around the world:

    1. Intellectual functioningIntellectual functioning refers to the ability to learn, reason and problem-solve. In other words, its the general mental capacity to function independently and rationally. People with severe intellectual disabilities can face significant limitations on their ability to exercise these capacities. A person with a mild intellectual disability could face difficulties with tasks involving comprehension, memory, planning, or abstract thinking.

    2. Adaptive behaviourAdaptive behaviour is a broad term for a range of social skills, conceptual, and everyday activities that we learn over time. These include, for example, the ability to:

    • Understand literacy, numeracy
    • Follow the rule of law
    • Carry out personal care and other responsibilities*

    *This example list is non-exhaustive

    An intellectual disability could mean that the ability to engage with these behaviours and concepts is in some way limited or even non-existent.

    Prevalence Of An Autism Spectrum Disorder Spectrum

    Prevetable cause of mental retardation

    It was once thought that Autism occurs approximately in 10 to 12 people per 10,000 but studies have found the incidence to be much greater having increased tenfold over the past few decades. It is not known whether this is simply due to more thorough identification or diagnosis, or to other causes such as environmental influences. The incidence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder is now being documented at less than 1 in 100 of the population and is four times more common in boys than it is in girls. It occurs in all races, social and economic conditions globally. There are several theories, but no conclusive answer as to the cause. One thing that we do know is that autism is NOT caused by deficient parenting, which was put forth as a theory when first recognized as a distinct disability.

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    What Causes An Intellectual Disability

    Doctors have found many causes of intellectual disabilities. The most common are:

    • Genetic conditions. Sometimes an intellectual disability is caused by abnormal genes inherited from parents, errors when genes combine, or other;reasons. Examples of genetic conditions are Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and phenylketonuria .
    • Problems during pregnancy. An intellectual disability can result when the baby does not develop inside the mother properly. For example, there may be a problem with the way the babys cells divide as it grows. A woman who drinks alcohol or gets an infection like rubella during pregnancy may also have a baby with an intellectual disability.
    • Problems at birth. If a baby has problems during labor and birth, such as not getting enough oxygen, he or she may have an intellectual disability.
    • Health problems. Diseases like whooping cough, the measles, or meningitis can cause intellectual disabilities. They can also be caused by extreme malnutrition , not getting enough medical care, or by being exposed to poisons like lead or mercury.

    An intellectual disability is not a disease. You cant catch an intellectual disability from anyone. Its also not a type of mental illness, like depression. There is no cure for intellectual disabilities. However, most children with an intellectual disability can learn to do many things. It just takes them more time and effort than other children.

    What Services Are Available For People With Intellectual Disability

    For babies and toddlers, early intervention programs are available. A team of professionals works with parents to write an Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. This document outlines the childs specific needs and what services will help the child thrive. Early intervention may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, family counseling, training with special assistive devices, or nutrition services.

    School-age children with intellectual disabilities are eligible for special education for free through the public school system. This is mandated by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act . Parents and educators work together to create an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, which outlines the childs needs and the services the child will receive at school. The point of special education is to make adaptations, accommodations, and modifications that allow a child with an intellectual disability to succeed in the classroom.

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    Mild Moderate Severe Intellectual Disability Differences

    Experts divide the types of cognitive impairment into four categories: mild intellectual disability, moderate intellectual disability, severe intellectual disability, and profound intellectual disability. The degree of impairment from an intellectual disability varies widely. DSM-V places less emphasis on the degree of impairment and more on the amount and type of intervention needed.

    While IQ scores are still relevant and important in assessing the level of intellectual disability, the new DSM-V adds another layer of diagnostic criteria . Mental health professionals must consider the person’s ability or impairment across three skill areas: conceptual, social, and practical life skill.

    The category details are as follows:

    How To Deal/coping With Intellectual Disability

    AAIDD: J Carolyn Graff – Understanding the AAIDD Definition of Intellectual Disability

    Early diagnosis along with adequate and sustained treatment and support are essential if the person is to reach their full potential. Correct evaluation allows the development of an adequate program to offer an individually-tailored support program for the sufferer. Inclusion and acceptance will greatly assist the person to develop and learn. The condition is no longer regarded as a static disability but one that can improve with patience and dedication. Families with a member who has an intellectual disability can benefit from counseling with a qualified therapist who can help them to understand and accept the sufferers condition and learn how to support them.;

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    Treatment Options For Intellectual Disability

    Your child will probably need ongoing counseling to help them cope with their disability.

    You will get a family service plan that describes your childs needs. The plan will also detail the services that your child will need to help them with normal development. Your family needs will also be addressed in the plan.

    When your child is ready to attend school, an Individualized Education Program will be put in place to help them with their educational needs. All children with ID benefit from special education.

    The federal Individuals with Disabilities Act requires that public schools provide free and appropriate education to children with ID and other developmental disabilities.

    The main goal of treatment is to help your child reach their full potential in terms of:

    • education

    What Is Intellectual Disability

    Intellectual disability is a term used when there are limits to a persons ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life. Levels of intellectual disability vary greatly in children. Children with intellectual disability might have a hard time letting others know their wants and needs, and taking care of themselves. Intellectual disability could cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than other children of the same age. It could take longer for a child with intellectual disability to learn to speak, walk, dress, or eat without help, and they could have trouble learning in school.

    Intellectual disability can be caused by a problem that starts any time before a child turns 18 years old even before birth. It can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many children, the cause of their intellectual disability is not known. Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, genetic conditions, birth defects, and infections happen before birth. Others happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Still other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older; these might include serious head injury, stroke, or certain infections.

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    Common Causes Of Intellectual Disability

    The most common causes of intellectual disability include:

    • Genetic conditions such as Down syndrome
    • Injuries such as head trauma and illnesses such as meningitis and seizure disorders
    • Labor and delivery problems, such as not getting enough oxygen at birth
    • Problems during pregnancy that impact brain development such as drug and alcohol use

    How To Find A Therapist

    Intellectual Disability

    Different types of therapists can help the sufferer of intellectual disability to improve their adaptive behavioral skills. Therapies can minimize the negative effects of the condition and maximize the persons potential.

    An Occupational Therapist

    • Can improve self-care skills such as bathing, dressing, and feeding
    • Teach purposeful activities such as employment skills
    • Improve domestic skills like cooking and cleaning
    • Encourage leisure activities such as playing games or knitting

    A Speech Therapist

    • Can improve communication skills through speech articulation, vocabulary and expressive and receptive language skills
    • In the absence of speech, they can help to develop other communication skills

    A Physical Therapist

    • Can help to improve mobility and self-locomotion
    • Can increase sensory integration

    Consult with your healthcare team as to how to find the necessary professionals to best attend the specific needs of the sufferer.

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    Adaptive Functioning Vs Iq

    IQ tests are employed to determine a persons level of intelligence or their intellectual functioning. ;These tests elicit responses which reveal the;measurable mental capacity of the person, their ability to reason and to solve problems, as well as their ability to learn. A person who scores less than 75 on an IQ test is considered to have a limited level of intellectual functioning. A person diagnosed with an intellectual disability can have a near to normal IQ, but experience problems with their adaptive functioning.

    Other tests are used to determine a persons level of adaptive, or social functioning. The Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale which is based on Item Response Theory and which is scored by a specially designed computer program, is commonly employed. The interpretation of the results considers cultural and other influencing factors.

    These adaptive functioning tests relate primarily to learned skills that everyone needs to survive in the everyday world, and they can be divided into three groups.

    • Practical skills, like dressing, eating and performing personal hygiene routines, using public transport and understanding schedules, or using a telephone.
    • Social skills which include relationship building, a concept of self, and the capacity to follow instructions
    • Conceptual skills which involve an understanding of time and numbers, the ability to use money, and to communicate.

    Prevention Of Intellectual Disability

    • Teachers

    • Orthopedists

    Other professionals may also be part of the team if necessary. Together with the family, these people develop a comprehensive, individualized program for the child that is begun as soon as the diagnosis of ID is suspected. The parents and siblings of the child also need emotional support and sometimes counseling. The whole family should be an integral part of the program.

    The full array of a person’s strengths and weaknesses must be considered in determining what kind of support is needed. Factors such as physical disabilities, personality problems, mental illness, and interpersonal skills are all taken into consideration. People with ID and coexisting mental health disorders such as depression may be given appropriate drugs in dosages similar to those given to those without ID. However, giving a child drugs without doing behavioral therapy and making environmental changes is usually not helpful.

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